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April 2016

March 2016 entries

Turkey Time

Gabrielle and the turkeys at our neighbor's farm just hit it off so well. Despite what my dad says, she named the gray one "Shadow," not "Sandwich."

And the boys weren't content with the nice, friendly turkeys who purred like kittens when petted. Nope. They had to chase the chickens all over the yard in vain. (There is a "typical men!" joke in here somewhere...)

Turkey Time

Turkey Time

Turkey Time


Up to the Highest Height

The kids and Gingersnap and I visited my parents as a farewell-to-Easter-break trip. A few years ago, Aidan was given a large dragon kite by a family friend, and we have never flown it. I decided that needed to end, today. My dad took us to a neighboring farm, where we could run around in his not-yet-planted field without fear of power lines. It was epic.

And now I'm ready for a trip to the beach to fly more kites in the perfect seaside air. Is it summer yet? (No, Denise. 9 more weeks of school!)

Up to the Highest Height

Up to the Highest Height

Up to the Highest Height

Up to the Highest Height

Up to the Highest Height


Selfies for Days

So remember that post I wrote about not being fake and showy as you use social media? I see no hypocrisy in the fact that I love to take selfies with my kids.

Here's why:

1. I never hesitate to post ugly pictures of myself. In fact, I intentionally take ugly pictures because I love to be goofy (some call me "the funny one") and these pictures are true to that spirit. My kids have caught the take-an-ugly-selfie bug, and I love that, too.

2. Even when I take a selfie, my focus is I the others in the shot. It's a way for me to remember the fun moments (like traveling to my parents' house today!) we share.

3. I never post a picture and say something like, "Wow. Look at us, donating to charity," or "Here we are, saving the planet." Nope. It's like "Here we are, going on a road trip. I love my kids!"

And I suppose if someone doesn't believe me or if someone doesn't want to see my pictures, they can stop reading my blog. :)

Selfies for Days

Selfies for Days

Selfies for Days

Selfies for Days

Selfies for Days


Careful Consideration

I've been thinking...about overthinking. How is that for metacognition?

I am a planner. I am an analyzer. I have always thought out my life in 5-year-increments which led to achieving various goals. But, as I've aged, and as I've had children, I've learned to be more of a go-with-the-flow kind of girl, when I need to be. After all, I can have a great lesson planned for the day, but if my kid is puking on me, I'm calling in for a sub and making revisions.

I find myself in a weird place right now. All my 5-year-goals have been annihilated. Career? Who knows what the school board will do with my theatre program or the classroom I teach in. I have to focus on my students and go one day at a time. Children? Every day is a new day, filled with adolescent hormones and 5-year-old defiance and 9-year-old emotions-- and now I'm a single mom. I have to roll with it and take it one day at a time. Love? Is that a thing? Again, one day at a time.

One very important lesson I've learned over the past 2-3 years, as Fate stripped me of close friends with no warnings, and Life took turns I didn't anticipate...is that we get one chance at this journey. We can spent that journey in timid paralysis or we can speak our hearts and take action and LIVE.

Overthinking isn't productive. Sure, there is a place for caution. And careful consideration, but if it leads to treading the water of inaction, then we've gone beyond careful to fearful. Buddha: "The trouble is, we think we have more time." We never know, do we?

Careful Consideration

Careful Consideration


Good Times

I took the kids to Hoopla's this afternoon to burn off some energy on this rainy afternoon. Yes, I took 3 children under the age of 12 to Hoopla's By. My. Self.

And so I ask you: what is YOUR super power?

Good Times

Good Times

Good Times

Good Times

Good Times


We are (not) Special

I've told you that I won't be discussing the particulars of my divorce on this blog, because I believe in privacy.  I do feel comfortable talking about some of my personal experiences with the divorce, so I'd like to start by saying this:  before we decided to separate, I agonized over the decision.  Should I stay and try (again and again) to make things work?  What about our kids? What would people think?  What would people say?  What about our extended families? Once the decision was made, and I started telling people, I have to admit:  almost no one was surprised.  

In fact, many people sympathized because they were close to me and knew parts of my journey, or because they are feeling trapped in an unfulfilling marriage themselves, or because they had just made the decision to leave an unfulfilling marriage, or because their parents had been in or stayed in such a relationship.  

And that is when I realized:  I am not as unique as I thought I was.  Of course, I am saying that with my tongue in my cheek.  I do understand the myriad ways that I and my situation are special.  But, at the same time, I am not the first person in the history of the world to say, "This is broken.  This has failed.  I need to do something different and start over."  

What is also fairly profound is that very few people talk about what they are going through, yet we share the same fears and doubts.  I had an email exchange this very morning with someone who said that living in a small town has made her divorce process a more public production than she anticipated.  Everyone is wondering, "What happened?"  And it's the same when you are a teacher, believe me.  

I suppose one way to look at this is to say, "Well, I am not special, so nothing I choose to do matters anyway.  The planet is enormous, and I am very small in comparison."  But, the way I choose to look at it is this:  "My situation may not be unique; there are lots of single moms out there.  But, this is first time in the history of the world that I have been a single mom."  There are no precedents for what Divorced Denise does or thinks or acts.  If I remain true to myself and who I am and always keep the best interests of my children in mind,  then I know I am Doing It Right.  

(Side note:  This is very similar to how I approach(ed) motherhood.  "This is my first time being a mom, and this is Aidan's first time being alive.  We got this.")

I am not so naive to think that there aren't people out there who judge me for my choices.  I know they exist, and bits and pieces of their mis-informed and un-compassionate prattle have reached my ears.  I can't stop to think about that, though.  Those people are trapped in their own prisons of ignorance and self-righteousness, and they alone can find their way out of the dark. 

Instead, I choose to find comfort in the fact that I am not alone, while moving ahead, rejecting the expectations of others.  And, at the end of the day, that is good enough for me! 

Dr seuss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A Little Poetry for Easter: "Today Means Amen"

One of my favorite "slam poets" is Sierra DeMulder (I once performed a powerful piece of hers which tells the story of Jeffery Dahmer from the perspective of his mother). There is an Open Stage Night coming up, and I came across this poem as I searched for one to work on. I love it, and I hope I can do it justice next Friday. In the meantime, it has a great message for today's holiday. "You made it this whole way. Through the nights that swallowed you whole, the mornings that arrived in pieces, the scabs, the gravel, the doubt, the hurt, the hurt, the hurt is over today. You made it." To watch DeMulder kill this poem, go here: http://youtu.be/sYkdvpk_BPY

Aidan, aka the Kid Who Never Sleeps

11 PM. Mom settles down for the night.

Midnight. Mom hears Aidan get out of his bed and pad down the hall, clearly with the intent to snoop for his basket.
Mom: "Aidan. Get back to bed."
Aidan: "Oh! I was, uh...I needed a drink."

1:00 AM. Mom feels a push on her shoulder. "Mom, Mom. Is it time to get up yet?"
Mom: "It is 1 AM. Go to sleep."

(Basically repeat the above scene at 2 and 3 AM...oh, and also 5.)

Aidan's clues took him from the table to his bike, to the dishwasher, to his tuba case.

Note to Easter Bunny: get a plastic tub and hide the basket outside and make this kid work really hard next year.

Aidan, aka the Kid Who Never Sleeps

Aidan, aka the Kid Who Never Sleeps

Aidan, aka the Kid Who Never Sleeps

Aidan, aka the Kid Who Never Sleeps


Liam's Quest

Each year, The Easter Bunny hides the kids' baskets while the rest of the world sleeps. And the Bunny is crafty-- he leaves clues all over the house (usually 3 each) for the kids to follow before finding their baskets.

Liam's clues led him from the starting point of the dining room table to the box of Skylanders, to the refrigerator drawer where we keep bottled water, to the hall closet where he found his basket.

I should mention that Liam was "sleeping in," according to Aidan and Ellie, and they begged to wake the poor kid up at 7. He groggily pushed them away and said he didn't have enough sleep... Until he heard the words "Easter Bunny" and "find your basket."

Liam's Quest

Liam's Quest

Liam's Quest